What is the corneal epithelium?

Epithelium: the “skin of the cornea”

Close up of the cornea during eye exami

The epithelium or “epi” of the cornea is a very thin and delicate layer of cells on the outer surface. It has many functions such as defining the shape of the tear film for good vision, protecting the cornea against infection, and refining the eye’s surface. The epithelium should be like a smooth, even, carpet of grass on the surface of the eye.

When it is in good condition it can be thought of like the grass of a golf course or a solid brick wall. When it is bad condition, it can be thought of like a sick lawn or crumbling brick wall.

When the epithelium is disrupted, the result can be very blurred vision, dry eye, foreign body sensation, and severe pain.

If you are experiencing pain, blurred vision, redness, or a feeling that something is in your eye, don’t hesitate! No matter where you are in Houston or the surrounding Houston area, we will get you in quickly to help.

Call Dr. Vital’s office at 713-668-6828 x2395.